The Mumbai police appear to be at the brink of establishing a criminal conspiracy in the August 11 mob violence at Azad Maidan during a rally organised by various Muslim bodies to protest alleged atrocities on Muslims in Myanmar and Assam.
HT had earlier reported that following the disclosure about the criminal conspiracy, the police have plans to evoke section 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code to the FIR in the case in which over a dozen penal sections, including murder, attempted murder and molestation, have already been invoked.
Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy said that a palpable ‘conspiracy angle’ is emerging during investigation. “We will club that [section 120 (b)] to the case at an appropriate time,” he said.
“All those arrested so far in different groups are linked to each other. For example, the five-six persons arrested from Malad had come to the venue as a group. One or two from the group are linked to some from the group of seven to eight that had come from Govandi. And as most of those arrested have a criminal past, a larger criminal nexus of hooligans is gradually surfacing,” sources added.
Sources said that the same inflammatory SMSes have been found from the cell phones of most of those arrested so far. Moreover, incendiary pamphlets were distributed by the members of the criminal nexus in their respective localities well in advance in order to induce others to join in the violence, sources said.
The police have reasons to believe that those who sent the SMSes and printed the pamphlets are masterminds, while the mob incited for the violence was merely acting on their direction. “We are trying to reach to the root of the case by identifying and bringing to book the real conspirators,” a source said, adding that their arrest will prove the criminal conspiracy beyond doubt.